Tag: lucas pouille

ATP 250 wraps: Aussies bow out in Singapore as upsets take place in Montpellier

IT was a mixed bag of results on day two across the various ATP 250 events, as we recap the results as of publishing in Montpellier, Singapore and Cordoba.

A couple of experienced talents joined the list of outs from the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, with eighth seed Jan-Lennard Struff and Frenchman Gilles Simon both bundled out of the tournament. Struff went down to qualifier and compatriot Peter Gojowczyk in straight sets, losing 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 18 minutes, with the 144th ranked played topping his German counterpart who sits 107 placed above him in the world. Meanwhile Austrian Dennis Novak continued his strong start to the year with a solid three-set win over Simon. Novak needed a tiebreaker to get through the first set, before dropping away in the second, and then posting a win 7-6 1-6 6-3 to advance to the Round of 16.

In other results, wildcard Benjamin Bonzi won through in straight sets in the all-French clash against Lucas Pouille, getting up 7-6 6-2. Experienced Czech Jiri Vesely was far too good for a disappointing Mikael Ymer, winning 6-1 6-1, while in the final results, Dutch qualifier Tallon Griekspoor won 6-2 6-7 6-3 over American Marcos Giron in the clear best match of the day. It lasted two hours and 10 minutes with the players evenly matched until Griekspoor – who had saved all five break point opportunities from his opponent – broke for a third time to win. .

In the late game, the most talked about match took place on Court Patrice Dominguez with Belarusian Egor Gerasimov taking on Grand Slam winner and returning from injury Brit, Andy Murray. After a nail-biting first set tiebreaker (10-8), Gerasimov ran away with the contest in the second set to win 7-6 6-1 and book his spot in the second round.

OPEN SUD DE FRANCE ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[Q] Peter Gojowczyk (GER) defeated [8] Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-3 6-4
[WC] Benjamin Bonzi (FRA) defeated Lucas Pouille (FRA) 7-6 6-2
[Q] Tallon Griekspoor (NED) defeated Marcos Giron (USA) 6-2 6-7 6-3
Dennis Novak (AUT) defeated Gilles Simon (FRA) 7-6 1-6 6-3
Jiri Vesely (CZE) defeated Mikael Ymer (SWE) 6-1 6-1
Egor Gerasimov (BLR) defeated Andy Murray (GBR) 7-6 6-1

 

Over in Singapore, five matches were completed on day two, and it was not good news for the Australians with all three players on court unable to join day one winner, Alexei Popyrin in the Round of 16. Marc Polmans was the toughest to beat, forcing Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama to three sets before going down 6-4 2-6 6-4 in two hours and 18 minutes. Similarly, John-Patrick Smith also suffered a three-set loss, this time to Macedonian sixth seed Radu Albot who won 6-2 3-6 6-1.

James Duckworth was unable to really break down German Yannick Hanfmann in their match, with the latter triumphing in straight sets, 6-2 6-4 to advance to the next round of action. In the other two matches, Turkish qualifier Altug Celikbilek won against Japanese wildcard Shintaro Mochizuki. Celikbilek got up 6-0 6-4 convincingly, while American Maxime Cressy moved into the Round of 16 with a 7-6 6-2 victory over Chinese Taipei’s Jason Jung.

SINGAPORE ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[6] Radu Albot (MCE) defeated [Q] John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 6-2 3-6 6-1
Maxime Cressy (USA) defeated Jason Jung (TAI) 7-6 6-2
Yannick Hanfmann (GER) defeated James Duckworth (AUS) 6-2 6-4
Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) defeated Marc Polmans (AUS) 6-4 2-6 6-4
[Q] Altug Celikbilek (TUR) defeated [WC] Shintaro Mochizuki (JPN) 6-0 6-4

 

The two lower ranked players at the Cordoba Open won through to the second round with hard-fought three sets wins over their respective opponents. Chilean wildcards Nicolas Jarry came from a set down to survive a nail-biting tiebreaker and then win in three against rising Spaniard Jaume Munar, 5-7 7-6 6-4. The match lasted a whopping two hours and 44 minutes with Jarry serving up seven aces, and winning 75 per cent of his first serve points, albeit off a lowly 54 per cent efficiency. Jarry’s was more efficient with 74 per cent of his first serves going in, but only capitalising on 63 per cent of them, as both players were broken five times.

In the other match, Jozef Kovalik also needed three sets to get past Daniel Elahi Galan, bouncing back from a disappointing second set to win 6-2 1-6 6-3 in an hour and 43 minutes. Kovalik broke four times to three, the last being a crucial one in the final set, to book his spot in the Round of 16 with victory on the clay courts.

CORDOBA OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[WC] Nicolas Jarry (CHL) defeated Jaume Munar (ESP) 5-7 7-6 6-4
Jozef Kovalik (SVK) defeated Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) 6-2 1-6 6-3

Picture credit: Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

ATP 250s wraps: Tsonga beaten on return as Popyrin claims win in Singapore

GRAND SLAM finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made his long-awaited return to the ATP Tour at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier yesterday, though it did not go plan. The former Top 10 talent was easily beaten by American Sebastian Korda in the first round of the ATP 250 event.

The match lasted just 72 minutes with Korda claiming the spoils, 6-4 6-2, dominating on serve and only dropping eight points in total, saving both of his opponent’s break point opportunities. Tsonga was far from his best, but getting through the match was the key, still winning 69 per cent of his first serve points, and serving five aces throughout the match. He saved three of six break points, but ultimately could not do enough against a player who has built form over the past 12 months.

It was better news for sixth seed Ugo Humbert, whose rise up the ATP Rankings continues following his straight sets win over Slovakian Norbert Gombos. Humbert won 6-4 7-6 in 78 minutes, slamming home 18 aces and winning 88 per cent of his first serve points off an elite 79 per cent efficiency to never give his opponent a chance. In Gombos’ defence, he held up well, actually breaking Humbert once from two chances, while the Frenchman broke him from both his opportunities. Overall the class of Humbert stood out and he advanced to the Round of 16.

In the final match played on day one of the main draw event, seventh seed Lorenzo Sonego battled past young Frenchman Hugo Gaston. The Italian won 6-3 6-7 6-1, holding his nerve in the third set after dropping the second set tiebreaker 9-7, to win in two hours and 19 minutes. He served seven aces and broke six times from 12 chances, while only being broken three times himself.

In today’s action, there are plenty more Frenchman on show, with Lucas Pouille taking on compatriot and wildcard Benjamin Bonzi, while Gilles Simon faces Austrian Dennis Novak. The match of the day could be either British wildcard and Grand Slam winner Andy Murray taking on Belarusian Egor Gerasimov, or Swede Mikael Ymer locking horns with Jiri Vesely.

OPEN SUD DE FRANCE ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[6] Ugo Humbert (FRA) defeated Norbert Gombos (SVK) 6-4 7-6
[7] Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) defeated [WC] Hugo Gaston (FRA) 6-3 6-7 6-1
Sebastian Korda (USA) defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 6-4 6-2

Five first round matches were completed in Singapore, with a mixed bag for the two seeds on court. Fifth seed Japanese counter puncher Yoshihito Nishioka defeated improving American Michael Mmoh 6-2 3-6 6-3, while seventh seed South African Lloyd Harris went down in three sets to Bulgarian wildcard Adrian Andreev.

Nishioka needed almost two hours to defeat Mmoh, surviving 11 aces to bring up 10 break point opportunities, albeit only taking three. It was two more than Mmoh who broke once in the second set, but could not do it again in the match. Meanwhile Andreev took two hours and 19 minutes to knock off the fast-serving Harris, not needing to serve and ace and even holding off 12 of 15 break point chances for the South African to win 1-6 6-3 6-4. The Bulgarian bounced back from a disappointing first set to post the impressive win over the developing Harris.

Andreev now takes on Australian Alexei Popyrin who knocked off American qualifier, Christopher Eubanks in two tiebreakers, 7-6 7-6, both of which were 7-5 tiebreakers. The match lasted one hour and 46 minutes, with Popyrin powering home 15 aces and saving 10 of 11 break points in a remarkable feat. He won 72 per cent of his first serve points, and also only broke Eubanks once, holding firm in the crucial tiebreakers to claim a narrow straight sets win.

In other Singapore results, United States’ Maxime Cressy became his nation’s sole winner on the day, downing Chinese Taipei’s Jason Jung in straight sets 7-6 6-2, while Japan’s Taro Daniel joined compatriot Nishioka in the second round after a tight three-set win over India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan, 6-3 6-7 6-3.

In today’s action, three Australians are out on court, with Marc Polmans up first against Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama. Following that match, qualifier John-Patrick Smith has to find a way to upstage sixth seed Macedonian Radu Albot, before James Duckworth takes to the court at night against German, Yannick Hanfmann.

SINGAPORE ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[5] Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) defeated Michael Mmoh (USA) 6-2 3-6 6-3
[WC] Adrian Andreev (BUL) defeated [7] Lloyd Harris (RSA) 1-6 6-3 6-4
Maxime Cressy (USA) defeated Jason Jung (TAI) 7-6 6-2
Taro Daniel (JPN) defeated Ramkumar Ramanathan (IND) 6-3 6-7 6-3
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) defeated [Q] Christopher Eubanks (USA) 7-6 7-6

At the time of publishing, none of the day one matches had been completed in Cordoba, with the Argentinian tournament finishing off the third round of qualifying earlier in the day. The night session featured two Round of 32 matches which will be covered in tomorrow’s wrap, with Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan facing Slovakian Jozef Kovalik, followed by Spaniard Jaume Munar taking on Chilean wildcard Nicolas Jarry.

Picture credit: ATP Tour

Is Ugo Humbert already the best Frenchman on the ATP Tour?

UGO Humbert is the best Frenchman on the ATP Tour. It is a big statement considering the amount of French talent going around at the moment. The nation has no shortage of talent, led by top talent Gael Monfils, the always exciting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and then the likes of Benoit Paire, Adrian Mannarino and Richard Gasquet cemented inside the top 50 players in the world. But unlike all of those players who are the wrong side of 30 – Paire is the youngest at 31 – Ugo Humbert is 22 and on the verge of breaking out in his career.

It could be argued he did just that in 2020, having his best season to-date and showing what he is capable of on the world stage. Prior to this year, Humber had a 19-26 record, but improved that to 43-38 after a huge 24-12 year that included two ATP Tour titles. The first one came in Auckland early in the year, defeating Paire in the final there, before backing up his performance indoors post the COVID break at Antwerp. His performances saw him move from 57th in the world up to number 30 in the past 12 months, giving French fans hope that he can lead the next wave of talents.

France is never short on up-and-comers, always having competitive players that will impress on the world stage. What makes Humbert so special is that he is that 188cm and is the pure power player who loves to win points quickly. He can make mistakes and is still raw, but wins a lot of points in a multitude of ways, be it off his serve, his forehand, backhand or approaching the net. In short, Humbert has a lot of tricks to his arsenal, and while he is raw, he can do a lot of damage when on song with his power plays.

It is remarkable to think that Humbert started his year with a straight sets loss in the third round of a Challenger event in Bendigo before posting a stunning maiden title win in Auckland. What made the victory in Auckland so special was the fact he knocked off four top 50 players including Casper Ruud, Denis Shapovalov, John Isner and Paire in that time. That is quite the mix of talents, and while he suffered a four-set loss to John Millman at the Australian Open and then bowed out in Montpellier to Feliciano Lopez, he reached the semi-finals at Delray Beach and arguably should have gone further.

Humbert’s Grand Slam record did not improve, with a second round defeat to Matteo Berrettini after a straight sets loss to Grigor Dimitrov in the first round at the Cincinnati masters, but he then toppled Fabio Fognini before losing to Shapovalov in Rome. He then stunned Daniil Medvedev in Hamburg before dropping his quarter finals loss to Ruud also squared that head-to-head up this year. A forgettable first round loss in Roland Garros to Marc Polmans meant he won one of four matches at the majors, a key reason why he could not crack into the top 20.

Another three top 50 wins at Antwerp led him to the title, defeating Pablo Carreno Busta, Daniel Evans and Alex de Minaur. What makes those three players so different to his hat-trick of Shapovalov, Isner and Paire in Auckland is the fact the former are all-court or counter punchers, compared to the latter who are power players and big servers. In other words, Humbert can play – and win – against all types of players.

Another win over Ruud in Paris was followed by a hard fought victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas, and an equally challenging victory over Marin Cilic before being stopped by Milos Raonic in three sets in the quarter finals. The Masters ended his year, but he had one eight of nine to cap off the season and knocked off two top six players in the final couple of months. All in all, 2020 could be considered a success.

As of now, Humbert is yet to make his debut at the Davis Cup. That must change. He simply has to be in, and if Monfils is fit, then France should take those two as the starting singles players. Tsonga is unfortunately not as durable as he used to be, and one cannot trust Paire consistently. Right now, Mannarino should be considered ahead of both, but the French love to play with flair, and unfortunately as solid as Mannarino is, he does not have the big serve that the Davis Cup team loves. With such a strong doubles pairing of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, the French have to start thinking about the future.

Not only should Humbert be thrown into the Davis Cup team, France need to start considering the next generation of talents before the top stars retire, all bar maybe Paire will be on the way out in the next few years, so the planning time is now. It is time to see whether Lucas Pouille and Corentin Moutet can sink or swim, particularly the latter who is still 21. Hugo Gaston at 20 has talent throw him in the extended squad and even Gregoire Barrere and Benjamin Bonzi are putting their hands up.

Whatever happens, Humbert simply has to be in because he is France’s next big thing.

Picture: Getty Images

2020 WTA Nature Valley Open / ATP Stuttgart Open fantasy tennis: Cilic ousts Zverev as Garcia’s run to defend her title continues

FIVE seeds and last year’s reigning champion remain in the 2020 WTA Nature Valley Open fantasy tennis tournament, while over in Stuttgart, just two seeds are left standing following another day of upsets on grass.

Turning the attention to Nottingham, seven of the eight seeds were on court after winning their first round matches, but by the end of the day, only five remained. Reigning champion Caroline Garcia and compatriot Kristina Mladenovic flew the flag for France to make their way into the quarter finals. Garcia toppled third seed Belinda Bencic 6-2 7-6, while Mladenovic got over fourth seed Petra Martic, 3-6 7-6 6-4.

It was much better for the top two seeds as both Petra Kvitova and Bianca Andreescu defeated their respective opponents. The Czech number one seed won 7-6 6-4 against American Coco Vandeweghe, while Andreescu knocked off Belgian qualifier Yanina Wickmayer 6-4 6-3. It was mostly a one-sided day for the winning seeds, with last year’s runner-up Donna Vekic also winning in straight sets, 7-5 6-2.

In the remaining results, sixth seed Maria Sakkari won 7-6 7-0 over Stefanie Voegele whilst Tatjana Maria handed a third Swiss player a defeat, winning 6-2 6-3 against qualifier Viktorija Golubic. Chinese eighth seed Shuai Zhang was the other player through to the quarter finals with a come-from-behind three set win, 3-6 6-3 7-6. In the quarter finals, Mladenovic and Maria face off, while Sakkari takes on Garcia. In the other quarter finals, Kvitova locks horns with Zhang, whilst at the bottom of the draw, Andreescu plays Vekic.

NATURE VALLEY OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[1] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 7-6 6-4
[2] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) defeated [Q] Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 6-4 6-3
Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated [3] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-2 7-6
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) defeated [4] Petra Martic (CRO) 3-6 7-6 6-4
[6] Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 7-6 6-0
[7] Donna Vekic (CRO) defeated Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 7-5 6-2
[8] Shuai Zhang (CHN) defeated Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 3-6 6-3 7-6
Tatjana Maria (GER) defeated [Q] Viktorija Golubic (SUI) 6-2 6-3

At Stuttgart, it was absolute carnage with three of the remaining five seeds ousted from the competition, including number one seed and tournament favourite, Alexander Zverev. Fresh off a maiden Grand Slam win at Roland Garros, Zverev hoped to carry on that success in his home country, but went down to Croatian Marin Cilic in a straight sets defeat, 6-1 6-2. He was joined by third seed Gael Monfils in an equally disappointing loss, with the Frenchman out courtesy of a 6-3 6-2 defeat at the hands of big-serving American John Isner.

The other top four seeds restored the balance somewhat with Daniil Medvedev easily accounting for Lucas Pouille 6-3 6-1, while Matteo Berrettini got up in a come-from-behind win against Sam Querrey. Fellow Italian seed Fabio Fognini was not as fortunate as Berrettini, losing to Milos Raonic in three sets, 6-3 4-6 6-4.

In the other results, Argentinian wildcard Juan Martin del Potro kept the good times rolling with a 6-2 6-2 triumph over Gilles Simon, while Australian John Millman and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez also won through to a quarter final. Millman defeated German wildcard Dustin Brown 2-6 7-6 7-5, while Lopez toppled Argentinian Guido Pella 6-1 6-1.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s quarter finals, Medvedev takes on Raonic and Berrettini faces Lopez of the last remaining seeds. In the other two matchups, del Potro clashes with Cilic and Isner meets Millman.

STUTTGART OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated [1] Alexander Zverev (GER) 6-1 6-2
[2] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated Lucas Pouille (FRA) 6-3 6-1
John Isner (USA) defeated [3] Gael Monfils (FRA) 6-3 6-2
[4] Matteo Berrettini (ITA) defeated Sam Querrey (USA) 1-6 6-3 6-2
Milos Raonic (CAN) defeated [8] Fabio Fognini (ITA) 6-3 4-6 6-4
[WC] Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) defeated Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-2 6-2
John Millman (AUS) defeated [WC] Dustin Brown (GER) 2-6 7-6 7-5
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) defeated Guido Pella (ARG) 6-1 6-1

2020 WTA Nature Valley Open / ATP Stuttgart Open fantasy tennis: Chaos reigns in Germany as seeds skittled on day one

ONLY one seed fell at the 2020 WTA Nature Valley Open fantasy tennis tournament, whilst there was a lot more chaos at the ATP Stuttgart Open. In Germany, just one of the four seeds on court survived day one against the stronger unseeded grass court players.

Looking at the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham first, there was only the one shock which came in the form of Swiss qualifier Viktorija Golubic knocking out fifth seed Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska. Golubic made it through to the Round of 16 courtesy of a 2-6 6-3 6-4 come-from-behind win over the world number 16 in her bid to eye off a top 100 spot. The other seed engaged in a three-set come-from-behind match was eighth seed Shuai Zhang, but this time the 34th ranked Chinese talent got up, albeit with some nervous moments against British wildcard and world number 146 Harriet Dart, 4-6 6-3 6-4.

The other seeds had less trouble to move through to the second round, although sixth seed Greek up and comer Maria Sakkari took three sets to knock out Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin, 6-3 3-6 6-4. Top seed Petra Kvitova, third seed Belinda Bencic and seventh seed Donna Vekic all won through to the Round of 16 without being forced into a tenth game in any set. Second seed Canadian Bianca Andreescu got past British wildcard Katie Swan in a tight 7-5 6-4 win, whilst fourth seed Croatian Petra Martic had a similar experience against Serbian wildcard Ivana Jorovic before saluting 7-5 6-1.

In the unseeded matches, only Coco Vandeweghe and Liudmila Samsonova were forced into three sets before getting up. Vandeweghe toppled American compatriot Shelby Rogers 6-0 3-6 7-5, while Russian Samsonova also knocked out an American, downing Ann Li 6-2 2-6 6-1. In other results, Ajla Tomljanovic, Tatjana Maria, Kristina Mladenovic, Stefanie Voegele and Yanina Wickmayer all booked their places in the Round of 16. Reigning champion Caroline Garcia was the final winner through to the second round, knocking off American Jennifer Brady 6-2 6-2 in under an hour.

NATURE VALLEY OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated [Q] Elena Gabriela Ruse (ROU) 6-3 6-3
[2] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) defeated [WC] Katie Swan (GBR) 7-5 6-4
[3] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 6-2 6-1
[4] Petra Martic (CRO) defeated [WC] Ivana Jorovic (SRB) 7-5 6-1
[Q] Viktorija Golubic (SUI) defeated [5] Dayana Yastremska (UKR) 2-6 6-3 6-4
[6] Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated Oceane Dodin (FRA) 6-3 3-6 6-4
[7] Donna Vekic (CRO) defeated [WC] Naiktha Bains (GBR) 6-1 6-4
[8] Shuai Zhang (CHN) defeated [WC] Harriet Dart (GBR) 4-6 6-3 6-4
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) defeated Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-0 3-6 7-5
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) defeated Heather Watson (GBR) 6-2 6-1
Tatjana Maria (GER) defeated [Q] Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-2 6-3
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) defeated Julia Goerges (GER) 6-3 6-0
Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Jennifer Brady (USA) 6-2 6-2
Stefanie Voegele (SUI) defeated Patricia Maria Tig (ROU) 6-2 6-2
Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated Ann Li (USA) 6-2 2-6 6-1
[Q] Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) defeated Jil Teichmann (SUI) 6-1 7-5

Whilst the results in Nottingham might have gone to script, over in Stuttgart, that was far from the case. Three of the four seeds all fell at the first hurdle, leaving only eighth seed Italian Fabio Fognini remaining to join the top four seeds in the second round. Fognini downed German Philipp Kohlschreiber to book a place in the second round, but was not joined by Nikoloz Basilashvili, Karen Khachanov or Denis Shapovalov. Guido Pella, John Millman and Gilles Simon all won in straight sets to move through to the Round of 16 in sensational upsets.

One of the early title contenders from an unseeded perspective in Marin Cilic also won through, albeit with a come-from-behind win against a plucky Damir Dzumhur who qualified for the event. Cilic won 3-6 6-3 6-4 to make his way into the second round. Also through to the next stage were a couple of wildcards in Juan Martin del Potro and Dustin Brown. The Argentinian Grand Slam winner defeated home nation talent Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-1, while Brown got the home crowd happy again with a 6-3 2-6 6-3 triumph over Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics.

In the remaining matches, American duo John Isner and Sam Querrey fought through to the second round. Isner overcame Australian Nick Kyrgios in a remarkable triple tiebreaker match, winning 6-7 7-6 7-6, while Querrey knocked out 2019 Stuttgart Open runner-up, Felix Auger-Aliassime in three sets, 6-4 4-6 6-2. The losing teenager’s compatriot in Milos Raonic got the chocolates in the first round however, knocking out German wildcard Dominik Koepfer 4-6 6-1 6-4, while Feliciano Lopez and Lucas Pouille both won through to the Round of 16.

STUTTGART OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

Guido Pella (ARG) defeated [5] Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 6-4 6-2
John Millman (AUS) defeated [6] Karen Khachanov (RUS) 7-6 7-6
Gilles Simon (FRA) defeated [7] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 7-5 6-2
[8] Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-1 6-4
Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated [Q] Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 3-6 6-3 6-4
[WC] Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) defeated Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-3 6-1
[WC] Dustin Brown (GER) defeated [Q] Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 6-3 2-6 6-3
John Isner (USA) defeated Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 6-7 7-6 7-6
Sam Querrey (USA) defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 6-4 4-6 6-2
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) defeated [Q] Denis Kudla (USA) 6-3 6-4
Milos Raonic (CAN) defeated [WC] Dominik Koepfer (GER) 4-6 6-1 6-4
Lucas Pouille (FRA) defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 4-6 6-3 6-0

2020 ATP Stuttgart Open fantasy tennis preview: Zverev returns home amongst strong field

NOW that our 2020 ATP Roland Garros fantasy tennis tournament is in the books, some of the top ATP Tour players turn their attention to Germany for the Stuttgart Open. Led by Roland Garros winner Alexander Zverev, the tournament features 10 top 30 players in a draw that is likely to be highly competitive.

FAVOURITE:

Alexander Zverev (GERMANY)

The clear and deserving favourite backing up from his French Open win, the world number four will start as the top seed here in his home nation. Keen to bring success back to Germany, Zverev has earned a nice bye in the first round, but will have a likely tough encounter against Marin Cilic in the second round. While Zverev has proven to be a dominant clay courter and strong hard courter, his grass game could still improve, so he will be keen to do that in this ATP250 tournament. A potential quarter finals clash with Juan Martin del Potro could also spell trouble for the number one seed.

CONTENDERS:

Daniil Medvedev (RUSSIA)

The second seed and world number five maintains his spot in the top five despite Zverev leaping ahead of him, and will be keen to snatch it back with a deep run here. His form this year has been less than ideal, but he has a good chance in Stuttgart, and a reasonable draw too. A bye in the opening round then a potential clash with either one of two Frenchmen, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Lucas Pouille and a quarter final against Fabio Fognini, Medvedev will start favourite in those games on this surface. The Russian has a good chance of going all the way and has to be considered.

Matteo Berrettini (ITALY)

Breaking the mold of being an Italian who is strong on grass, Berrettini won here in 2019, defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime in the final. Remarkably, that line-up could be a second round encounter, but he also could face the more-than-competent Sam Querrey as well. If Berrettini can get past the Round of 16, then he could eye up going deep and would fancy himself matching up against Medvedev in the final. Having been there and done it before, you can never discount Berrettini when it comes to contenders.

Felix Auger-Aliassime (CANADA)

Much like Berrettini, Auger-Aliassime has gone to the last match of the tournament before, and battled hard against his fellow up and comer. The teenager has an incredibly difficult first-up match against Querrey and he will need to be at his best to avoid giving up a lot of ranking points with a loss. If he can set up a 2019 final rematch in the Round of 16, that would be huge, and give him confidence to go on a run here in Stuttgart again.

ROUGHIE:

Marin Cilic (CROATIA)

The Croatian world number 48 has slid down the rankings this year, but he would have pencilled in the grass court season. As one of the best clay court players in the world, it is hard to deny he has a massive chance in Stuttgart. Always challenging to beat on his best day, if Cilic can find the form that he has shown in the past, he could go all the way. A potential second round match with Zverev looms, but they are not on clay anymore, and if you throw rankings out the window, Cilic has every right to start favourite.

DARK HORSE:

Juan Martin del Potro (ARGENTINA)

The Argentinian has had some rough draws of late, coming up against some elite players early in tournaments and falling earlier than expected. He has shown some promising signs in his return year, but is still ranked 121st in the world and was easily offered a wildcard in this 250K event. He is the player no one wants to come up against because he is so dominant on grass, and realistically if he plays to his potential could be the best player here on the surface. He lines up against home nation competitor Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round, but expect him to cruise all the way to the quarter finals where he will face either Zverev or Cilic.

2020 ATP Roland Garros fantasy tennis: Bedene stuns Greek star to book third round spot

THE final 32 players in contention for the 2020 ATP Roland Garros fantasy tennis title have been decided with a massive upset occurring on day six of the competition. Sixth seed Greek up and comer, Stefanos Tsitsipas is out of contention after unseeded Slovenian clay courter Aljaz Bedene won in five thrilling sets. The match lasted three hours and 45 minutes before the Slovenian was able to celebrate, but he did so in style, ousting the world number six, 7-6 6-3 4-6 2-6 7-5.

In an identical result to the day before, all the remaining seeds made their way through to the next round meaning just seven unseeded players remain in Roland Garros. There was almost another boil over in the second round, with Swiss Master Roger Federer surviving a scare against Japanese Grand Slam winner Kei Nishikori. Federer eventually won 6-4 2-6 2-6 7-6 6-4 but had to come from two sets to one down in order to win. It was one of the five, five set matches, along with Russian Andrey Rublev’s come-from-behind victory over Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, 3-6 7-5 6-7 6-4 6-3.

The other five set match was a massive come-from-behind win by 11th seed David Goffin who had to fight back from two sets down to shake off Brazilian Thiago Monteiro. Goffin trailed Monteiro 6-3 6-3 after 80 minutes of game play, but little did the crowd know it would be another two and a half hours before the match ended, with the Belgian getting up 3-6 3-6 6-2 7-5 6-4. He joined ninth seed Gael Monfils in the next round after the Frenchman also came from a deficit to defeat Serbian qualifier, Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

It was easier for world number one Rafael Nadal, 19th seed Cristian Garin, up and comers Felix Auger-Aliassime and Casper Ruud, and veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who all waltzed through to the next round in straight sets. Other winners were seeds, Diego Schwartzman, Fabio Fognini and Denis Shapovalov, as well as unseeded duo, Richard Gasquet and Italian Gianluca Mager.

ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-1 6-1 6-3
[4] Roger Federer (SUI) defeated Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-4 2-6 2-6 7-6 6-4
Aljaz Bedene (SLO) defeated [6] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 7-6 6-3 4-6 2-6 7-5
[8] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 1-6 6-2 7-6 7-6
[9] Gael Monfils (FRA) defeated [Q] Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 4-6 6-4 3-6 6-2 6-4
[10] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) defeated Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-7 7-5 7-5 6-0
[11] David Goffin (BEL) defeated Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 3-6 3-6 6-2 7-5 6-4
[14] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 3-6 7-5 6-7 6-4 6-3
[19] Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-2 6-1 6-0
[20] Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 3-6 7-6 6-2 6-4
[22] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated [Q] Carlos Taberner (ESP) 6-0 3-6 6-2 6-1
[26] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) defeated [WC] Quentin Halys (FRA) 6-0 6-2 6-3
[27] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) defeated [Q] Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-4 6-4 6-3
[32] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated Lucas Pouille (FRA) 6-2 6-2 6-1
Richard Gasquet (FRA) defeated Steve Johnson (USA) 6-4 4-6 7-6 6-3
Gianluca Mager (ITA) defeated [Q] Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-3 6-2 6-3

2020 ATP Roland Garros fantasy tennis: Johnson stands tall to oust Dimitrov

THE first round of the 2020 ATP Roland Garros fantasy tennis tournament is complete, after the fourth day of first round matches played out in Paris today. In a similar story to the past three days, just one seed fell at the first hurdle, with 18th seed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov being the only casualty of an otherwise predictable day, going down to unseeded American Steve Johnson in four sets, 5-7 6-4 6-3 7-5.

Some of the top contenders barely raised a sweat, with the likes of Rafael Nadal almost having a bye in the first round, completely destroying Romanian qualifier Marius Copil without dropping a game. He was joined in the next round by 10th seed Swiss star Stan Wawrinka who only dropped two games against French wildcard Antoine Hoang, 6-1 6-0 6-1. Equally breezing through to the Round of 64 were eighth seed Diego Schwartzman and 14th seed Andrey Rublev, not dropping a set against Frenchmen, Pierre Hugues Herbert and Gregoire Barrere respectively.

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Casper Ruud also made their way through to the second round without too much trouble, winning through in straight sets against Marcos Giron and Pablo Andujar respectively. Fabio Fognini had a bit more resistance from talented Croatian Borna Coric. After dropping the first set, the Italian firebrand picked his game up and posted a 4-6 6-4 6-0 6-3 victory.

In the all-unseeded clashes, French wildcard Quentin Halys made his way through to the next round with a huge upset over fellow Frenchman Corentin Moutet. Halys won through 6-3 7-6 2-6 4-6 6-4, surviving a mid-match comeback from his compatriot to eventually salute in four hours and 12 minutes. He was joined in the next stage by a couple of other unseeded Frenchmen, Lucas Pouille and Richard Gasquet. Other winners on day four were Philipp Kohlschreiber, Juan Martin del Potro, Marton Fucsovics, Lorenzo Sonego and Albert Ramos-Vinolas who all earned spots in the Round of 64.

ROUND OF 128 RESULTS:

[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) defeated [Q] Marius Copil (ROU) 6-0 6-0 6-0
[8] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) defeated Pierre Hugues Herbert (FRA) 6-4 6-0 6-3
[10] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) defeated [WC] Antoine Hoang (FRA) 6-1 6-0 6-1
[14] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated Gregoire Barrere (FRA) 6-2 6-3 6-0
Steve Johnson (USA) defeated [18] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 5-7 6-4 6-3 7-5
[20] Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Borna Coric (CRO) 4-6 6-4 6-0 6-3
[26] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) defeated Marcos Giron (USA) 6-4 6-1 6-3
[32] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated Pablo Andujar (ESP) 6-3 7-6 6-4
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) defeated Attila Balazs (HUN) 6-2 6-1 6-4
Lucas Pouille (FRA) defeated Tommy Paul (USA) 6-4 6-4 4-6 6-4
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) defeated Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 2-6 6-4 6-3 6-3
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated [Q] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 6-4 6-3 6-7 6-2
Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) defeated [Q] Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3 6-3 6-3
Richard Gasquet (FRA) defeated Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-3 7-5 6-1
[WC] Quentin Halys (FRA) defeated Corentin Moutet (FRA) 6-3 7-6 2-6 4-6 6-4
Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) defeated [WC] Enzo Couacaud (FRA) 6-2 6-3 6-2

2020 ATP Geneva and Lyon Opens fantasy tennis: Predictable day of results with a few unseeded upsets

THE final ATP Tour fantasy tennis tournaments prior to Roland Garros began this week with the Geneva Open and Lyon Open both yielding fairly predictable results. All four seeds of the 24 players on court won through to the second round, whilst a few qualifier and a wildcard also earned their place in the Round of 16.

In Geneva, it was easy breezy for the top four ranked players on court, as the fifth through to eighth seeds waltzed past their opponents. Fifth seed Russian Karen Khachanov had the biggest challenge against Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, but the higher ranked player got up 7-5 6-4. It was much easier for sixth seed Chilean Cristian Garin, seventh seed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and eighth seed Andy Murray who all went through unscathed without dropping a set.

The battle of the day was a come-from-behind win for Australian Jordan Thompson who downed Bolivian qualifier Hugo Dellien 3-6 6-4 7-6, whilst Romanian Radu Albot and Frenchman Jeremy Chardy both took care of business in three sets after shaky starts in their respective wins. The only other three-set match was Argentinian Juan Ignacio Londero defeating Italian Lorenzo Sonego 7-5 4-6 6-2 to book a Round of 16 spot.

In other results, Croatian Marin Cilic smashed his compatriot Borna Coric 6-2 6-0, while Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics, German wildcard Phillip Kohlschreiber and Norwegian clay courter Casper Ruud all had straight forward victories.

In tomorrow’s action the top four seeds – Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, David Goffin and Stan Wawrinka – take to the court in the Round of 16.

GENEVA ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[5] Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 7-5 6-4
[6] Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-0 6-3
[7] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) defeated Andreas Seppi (ITA) 6-1 6-3
[8] Andy Murray (GBR) defeated Guido Pella (ARG) 6-4 6-2
Jordan Thompson (AUS) defeated [Q] Hugo Dellien (BOL) 3-6 6-4 7-6
Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated Borna Coric (CRO) 6-2 6-0
Radu Albot (ROU) defeated [WC] Dominik Koepfer (GER) 3-6 7-6 6-4
[Q] Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated Joao Sousa (POR) 6-3 6-3
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) defeated [Q] Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 3-6 6-1 7-6
Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG) defeated Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 7-5 4-6 6-2
[WC] Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) defeated [Q] Nicolas Jarry (CHI) 6-4 6-1
Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-4 6-1

Heading over to France and it was a similar story in Lyon, as the top eight seeds all made it through to the second round. It was not without a massive scare though, as fifth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili had his work cut out for him against top 30 teenager, Felix Auger-Aliassime. In the end the Georgian managed to prevail in just under three hours with a 4-6 6-3 7-6 victory.

It was a little easier for the other seeds, with Fabio Fognini trouncing Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-2, Filip Krajinovic winning against John Isner 6-1 7-5, and Matteo Berrettini getting the job done against a tough Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 7-6. It was indeed a mixed bag for the French players as they had two winners and three losers from day one of the tournament – though the other four all played each other – as reigning champion Benoit Paire downed compatriot and wildcard Pierre Hugues Herbert 6-3 6-3, while Richard Gasquet took out compatriot and qualifier Lucas Pouille 6-3 6-4.

Similarly it was a mixed bag for Australia with John Millman causing a big upset against Canadian Milos Raonic 6-4 6-4, while Australia’s top ranked individual Alex de Minaur suffered defeat at the hands of Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely, 7-6 7-5. Also through to the next round was Argentinian qualifier Juan Martin del Potro who defeated Hubert Hurkacz 6-1 6-3, Canadian Denis Shapovalov who won in a come-from-behind victory over Tommy Paul, as well as Brit Daniel Evans and American Sam Querrey.

Tomorrow’s action features the top four seeds in Gael Monfils, Diego Schwartzman, Roberto Bautista-Agut and Andrey Rublev coming into the fray.

LYON ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[5] Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 4-6 6-3 7-6
[6] Matteo Berrettini (ITA) defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 6-4 7-6
[7] Filip Krajinovic (SRB) defeated John Isner (USA) 6-1 7-5
[8] Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Taylor Fritz (USA) 6-2 6-2
John Millman (AUS) defeated Milos Raonic (CAN) 6-4 6-4
[Q] Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) defeated Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 6-1 6-3
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated [Q] Tommy Paul (USA) 2-6 6-0 6-4
Richard Gasquet (FRA) defeated [Q] Lucas Pouille (FRA) 6-3 6-4
Daniel Evans (GBR) defeated [WC] Thiago Seyboth Wild (BRA) 6-7 6-4 6-0
[Q] Jiri Vesely (CZE) defeated Alex de Minaur (AUS) 7-6 7-5
Sam Querrey (USA) defeated Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 6-1 3-6 7-5
Benoit Paire (FRA) defeated [WC] Pierre Hugues Herbert (FRA) 6-3 6-3

2020 ATP Rome Masters fantasy tennis: Monfils, RBA out in upsets as Basilashvili survives scare

A COUPLE of out-of-form top 10 players were among the first round casualties on day one of the 2020 ATP Rome Masters fantasy tennis tournament. Both world number nine, Gael Monfils and world number 10, Roberto Bautista-Agut suffered losses on the opening day, whilst the other results went to plan for the favourites.

Since reaching the Munich Open final, Bautista-Agut has suffered back-to-back losses in Madrid and now Rome which will almost certainly see him tumble out of the top 10. He lost to Brit Kyle Edmund in three sets, 3-6 6-2 6-4 after having a strong start to the match. Monfils went down in another disappointing loss, losing to Norwegian Casper Ruud in straight sets, 7-6 6-3.

It was better news for the two other seeds, with red-hot Nikoloz Basilashvili triumphing in a come-from-behind win over Croatia’s Marin Cilic, while Italian Matteo Berrettini lived up to his 14th seeding with a 6-3 6-2 victory against Serbian qualifier, Laslo Djere. The only other three-set match of the day was between Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene, with the former getting up in a come-from-behind victory, 4-6 6-2 6-1.

The remaining matches all lasted the two sets, with Canadian duo Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov giving the North American nation hope heading into the second round after wins against Pablo Carreno Busta and Philipp Kohlschreiber respectively. Serbian duo Filip Krajinovic and Dusan Lajovic made up for Djere’s loss by booking a spot in the next round with wins over French duo Benoit Paire and Lucas Pouille respectively.

The sole Frenchman to win on the day was Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who triumphed over Australian Alex de Minaur, whilst clay court talents Cristian Garin and Fabio Fognini both moved through to the next round. Garin knocked out another Frenchman in Adrian Mannarino 6-2 7-5, whilst Fognini blitzed the usually competitive Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2 6-0.

In tomorrow’s action, 11th seed David Goffin is the highest ranked player out on court when he takes on Borna Coric, whilst other seeds, Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Stan Wawrinka play their first matches of the tournament.

ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated [9] Gael Monfils (FRA) 7-6 6-3
Kyle Edmund (GBR) defeated [10] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 3-6 6-2 6-4
[13] Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) defeated Marin Cilic (CRO) 5-7 7-5 7-5
[14] Matteo Berrettini (ITA) defeated [Q] Laslo Djere (SRB) 6-3 6-2
Milos Raonic (CAN) defeated Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 7-6 6-2
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated [Q] Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-2 6-4
Filip Krajinovic (SRB) defeated Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-3 6-3
Kei Nishikori (JPN) defeated [Q] Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 4-6 6-2 6-1
Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-2 7-5
Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-2 6-0
Dusan Lajovic (SRB) defeated [WC] Lucas Pouille (FRA) 6-2 6-3
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) defeated Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-1 6-4